Easing Back Pain with Swimming

Summer is in full swing, which means it is also pool season! Taking a dip can cool you off and ensure a day of fun, but it can also ease back pain. 

The buoyancy of water in pools takes stress off the joints, and the action of swimming or doing other aquatic exercises can significantly strengthen your core and back muscles. 

However, if you have back pain, don’t just dive in without consulting your chiropractor in Vancouver, WA. Back pain can be caused by a number of issues, so before you swim, make an appointment for a complete evaluation and careful diagnosis. 

Once you get the OK to hit the pool, pay attention to your technique, especially if you are a beginner. Consider getting a trainer or coach, and start with a basic stroke, like the breaststroke or backstroke. These strokes don’t carry the same risk of hyperextension as more advanced strokes, like the butterfly. 

As with all exercise, start of slowly and build your way up to longer, more intense sessions. We recommend swimming twice a week, then progressing over the course of a month or six weeks. 

Pool Exercises to Ease Back Pain 

Swimming laps is great exercise, but if you are experiencing back pain, start off with these hydro exercises before pursuing more intense workouts. 

Walk or march in the water to stretch out stiffness. This is harder than it sounds, and you won’t make it far if your posture is sloppy or you drag your feet! 

After marching, take it up a notch by standing on one slightly bent leg, then slowly lifting your other leg to your chest. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then repeat the motion on the other leg. If it is tough to balance, hold onto the wall of the pool. 

Next, instead of holding your knee to your chest, straighten out one leg and try to lift it to a 90-degree angle to your body. These leg raises will increase your flexibility and range of motion. 

Consider Water Therapy 

Water therapy may be a good option if you love being in the water but still experience lower back pain while swimming. These exercise programs take place in warm water, and your body benefits from both the buoyancy of the water and its gentle resistance. You’ll get many of the same benefits as swimming, including relaxing tight muscles, which will increase your range of motion and potentially allow you to exercise for longer periods of time. 

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